Buddhist Geeks - Episode 140: This is your Brain on Meditation

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This week we speak with academic nuerologist and Zen practitioner James Austin. Austin, who wrote the well-known book, Zen and the Brain, joins us to explain some of the physical mechanisms underlying both attention and the way we process reality. In terms of attention, he shares with us a very descriptive difference between "top-down" and "bottom-up" modes of attention. He also shares the difference, from the perspective of the brain, between self-centered (egocentric) processing and other-centered (allocentric) processing.

He also shares the ways in which these two are related to the different forms of meditation that are commonly seen in the Buddhist tradition. Although sometimes technical, his descriptions are extremely interesting for those who have an interest on the intersection between meditation and the brain.

This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2 (airing next week).